Gene ‘Montgomery Burns’ Rowenhorst defends the fleecing of taxpayers in SF

Like a good Munson soldier, Gene tells us that paying more taxes is necessary (Argus Leader);

I would like to put this discussion in context. In March 2008, the mayor and the City Council commissioned a citizen survey that reached 3,000 households in Sioux Falls. Citizens were asked to rate the statement, “I receive good value for the city of Sioux Falls taxes I pay.”

Gene, why didn’t you mention there was only aproximately 1,000 respondents? That’s right, city hall is making decisions with your taxdollars based on the opinions of aprox 0.66% of the population. But if you include the metro area (which will be affected by the arterial roads that percentage drops to 0.44%.) Not a good guage if you ask me. On top of that, we still don’t know who these surveys were sent to, which should worry us even more. Mailing lists are very accurate and specific. You can order a list to go to any demographic within a city. I would be curious what demographic this was sent to. One indicator was a large number of people saying they felt unsafe Downtown at night. This tells me that the survey was sent to 1) Senior citizens 2) yuppies who never come downtown and are generally scared of downtown areas because they watch too much Fox News about inner city crime.

I also take issue with this statement;

That leaves $139 million in our budget.

$27 million is for railroad relocation. This is money coming from the federal government that we need to show as part of the budget due to accounting rules even though the citizens of Sioux Falls are not funding this project. This money cannot be used for arterial street construction.

What Gene isn’t tell you is that SF Taxpayer’s are footing this bill and we will (hopefully) get repaid by the FEDS. In most cases when cities or states foot the bill first, it is rare that the FEDS pony up. and if you think after this $819 billion dollar bailout that they are going to be handing out checks like this, you are freaking nuts.

This is also misleading, and he should have given a breakdown;

That leaves $90 million in our budget.

  • $43 million is in other funds that are restricted for specific purposes such as transit, community development, storm drainage, etc. This money cannot be used for arterial street construction.
  • Most community development dollars are loans that are merely originated by the city. But lately you will notice that the city has been giving handouts in the form of TIF’s and Facade programs. I would be curious how much of that $43 million is for community development handouts.

    Once again the city has told us how they are spending our money, but not how they are trying to save us money. That is what is fundamentally broken at City Hall and the department heads that work there. They are not looking out for us.